Dr. P. Michael Leahy started Active Release Techniques® over 30 years ago. ART® began when Dr. Leahy was working with elite athletes as a way to treat soft tissue disorders so they could get back to peak performance as quickly as possible.

Dr. Leahy studied engineering in the Air Force before becoming a chiropractor in 1984. As he watched athletes perform, and studied their movement he realized he could combine what he knew about engineering with his chiropractic knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics to treat their soft tissue disorders quickly and get them back in their competition. In 1988 some of Dr. Leahy’s chiropractor colleagues convinced him to hold a seminar to teach his method of treatment. The room they reserved for the event overflowed with doctors interested in learning this new technique, and afterward Dr. Leahy quickly began formalizing a training method for ART®.

Nicolai van der Lagen has many years of experience within sports and rehabilitation, both as an active sportsman and as a professional health care provider. He has helped many patients, athletes, clubs and companies on several levels. Now, his main focus is to help practitioners  to the next level of expertise through teaching and guidance.

While studying for his bachelor in physiotherapy at Fontys Paramedische Hogeshool in the Netherlands, he frequently travelled to the United States to participate in the Active Release Techniques® educational program. He has participated in more than 90 courses in ART®, 75 of them as Lead Instructor.

In 2006 he opened his practice and sections of the Health Care Center “Helsehuset”, in his hometown Moss in Norway. Helsehuset is by date completed and runs on full capacity. Patients and athletes from most parts of the southern Norway utilizes services provided from this health care environment. The Center is owned by 4 companies, all working within their own medical specialty. The Center houses in total 17 companies providing services within health care and medicine. Examples: dermatologist, dentists, orthopedic specialists, prosthetists and technicians, massage therapists, ophthalmologists, chiropodist, pharmacy, ART® providers, physiotherapists, chiropractors, medical cosmetic specialist…)

In 2009, Nicolai was given the responsibility for the educational program of Active Release Techniques® in Europe. He has had the pleasure to work with Dr. Mike Leahy (the inventor and refiner behind ART®) at many occasions.  Quote Nicolai, “We cannot give Dr. Mike Leahy a big enough THANK YOU for the work he and his team is putting down for all of us”.

Many practitioners with various background degrees such as Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Manual Therapists, Massage Therapists and Osteopaths are being certified in the various modules. Some course modules are regularly held in collaboration with Professional Clubs and Organizations.

Active Release Techniques® Europe is responsible for organizing, hosting and teaching the various courses that are carried out in Europe. HQ is located side by side with his practice, which is now run together with his wife Katrin van der Lagen and two colleagues, Andreas Henriksen and Frode Saint-Sollieux. All practitioners at the Clinic are certified in ART®.

The various course modules in ART® are now regularly carried out in more than 10 countries in Europe. More countries and cities will continuously be added to the venue list. If you have any suggestions, please let us know (katrin@activerelease.no).

Join more than 700 practitioners in Europe in their training to become a better and more confident soft tissue practitioner (ART® Provider).

Nicolai is ¼Norwegian, ¼Danish, ¼French and ¼Swizz. Please give him some room for any misspellings or badly constructed sentences in English.


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